Age of Reason
Age of Reason
The name given to that period of human life at which persons are deemed to begin to be morally responsible

Catholic Encyclopedia. . 2006.

Age of Reason
    Age of Reason
     Catholic_Encyclopedia Age of Reason
    The name given to that period of human life at which persons are deemed to begin to be morally responsible. This, as a rule, happens at the age of seven, or thereabouts, though the use of reason requisite for moral discernment may come before, or may be delayed until notably after, that time. At this age Christians come under the operation of ecclesiastical laws, such as the precept of assistance at Mass on Sundays and holydays, abstinence from meat on certain days, and annual confessions, should they have incurred mortal sin. The obligation of Easter Communion literally understood applies to all who have reached "the years of discretion"; but according to the practical interpretation of the Church it is not regarded as binding children just as soon as they are seven years old. At the age of reason a person is juridically considered eligible to act as witness to a marriage, as sponsor at baptism or confirmation, and as a party to the formal contract of betrothal; at this age one is considered capable of receiving extreme unction, of being promoted to first tonsure and minor orders, of being the incumbent of a simple benefice (beneficium simplex) if the founder of it should have so provided; and, lastly, is held liable to ecclesiastical censures. In the present discipline, however, persons do not incur these penalties until they reach the age of puberty, unless explicitly included in the decree imposing them. The only censure surely applicable to persons of this age is for the violation of the clausura of nuns, while that for the maltreatment, suadente diabolo, of clerics is probably so.
    Ferraris. Bibliotheca prompta jur. can. s.v. Aetas, (Rome, 1844); Wernz, Jus Decretalium (Rome, 1899).
    JOSEPH F. DELANEY
    Transcribed by Tony Camele

The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VIII. — New York: Robert Appleton Company. . 1910.


Catholic encyclopedia.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • age of reason — n. The age at which a child is deemed responsible for his or her own actions, usually 7 years of age. The Essential Law Dictionary. Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. Amy Hackney Blackwell. 2008. age of reason …   Law dictionary

  • Age of Reason — n. 1. a period of European history in the 18th cent. noted for belief in the ability of reason to discover truth, shape society, etc.: see THE ENLIGHTENMENT 2. [a r ] the age at which a child is presumed to know right from wrong and be capable of …   English World dictionary

  • Age of Reason — noun a movement in Europe from about 1650 until 1800 that advocated the use of reason and individualism instead of tradition and established doctrine (Freq. 1) the Enlightenment brought about many humanitarian reforms • Syn: ↑Enlightenment •… …   Useful english dictionary

  • age of reason — noun Seven years of age, at which age a person is morally liable for the sins that he or she commits. On September tenth the morning of my seventh birthday I came downstairs to the kitchen, where my mother was washing the dishes and my father… …   Wiktionary

  • age of reason — See age of discretion; Paine s Age of Reason …   Ballentine's law dictionary

  • age of reason — Age at which a child is deemed to be capable of acting responsibly; commonly the age of 7. In general, one between the ages of 7 and 14 is rebuttably presumed to be incapable of committing a crime. Below the age of 7 a child is conclusively… …   Black's law dictionary

  • age of reason — Age at which a child is deemed to be capable of acting responsibly; commonly the age of 7. In general, one between the ages of 7 and 14 is rebuttably presumed to be incapable of committing a crime. Below the age of 7 a child is conclusively… …   Black's law dictionary

  • Age of Reason — Age′ of Rea′son n. why the 17th and 18th centuries in France, England, etc Compare enlightenment 4) …   From formal English to slang

  • age of reason — Date: 1650 1. the time of life when one begins to be able to distinguish right from wrong 2. a period characterized by a prevailing belief in the use of reason; especially the 18th century in England and France …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Age of Reason — 1. any period in history, esp. the 18th century in France, England, etc., characterized by a critical approach to religious, social, and philosophical matters that seeks to repudiate beliefs or systems not based on or justifiable by reason. 2. (l …   Universalium

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”